How the Bullnose Rudder Became Reality

Jim Lefgren

"The Rudder idea came about when I was floating around a small lake on my pontoon and trying to fish. I had installed a small electric motor so I wouldn't have to use oars or flippers, and I noticed the lack of steering I had with just the motor alone, especially when the wind came up. I had to return to shore and wait out the blustery weather. All control was lost with just the motor as a guide. After several prototypes, experiments and much field testing, I was pleased to have the control I needed to get me around the lake. Eventually, I designed, patented and manufactured the Bullnose Rudder for consumers."

A Clamp-on Rudder for Small Boats

The Creation of the Ice Fishing Tip Down-Tip Up

Jim Lefgren

"The Ice Fishing Tip Down-Tip Up started as a small wooden board with two arms to hold a jig that housed the fishing pole handle. As I experimented with the design, I found that by rotating the arms backwards and having them catch on a screw, a sturdy platform was created for the pole to rest on, giving it just the right angle. When the fish nipped at my bait, the rod would rock because of the sensitivity of the tip down design. 

It was a thrill, and I was on my way to designing the Ice Fishing Tip Down-Tip Up!

The original design was dubbed the "Flipboard" and was made of wood. The rod holder clip was originally PVC pipe, holding the fishing rod onto a steel post that rested between the arms. 

With the help of duct tape, I had my first Tip Down!

"My friends liked it so well, I perfected it a bit and made some for them. Then, when other fishermen spotted all of us catching fish with this little device and expressed a desire to have one, I figured I had a marketable item. I tweaked the design a bit, evolving from wood to metal, improving it until I had it ready to patent and manufacture. It is now a sturdy metal frame with the same backwards arm set to house the rod holder clip (a flexible plastic grip – no duct tape required!). Requests eventually came for taller ones as well, so BIG RED was born – three inches taller than the original blue. Both have proven to be extra sensitive rod holders for the ice fishing enthusiast!" 

Shop Jim's Ice Fishing Tip Down-Tip Ups, as they are now availble to consumers for purchase.